Western New Mexico University

Silver City, New Mexico

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Western New Mexico University (WNMU) is a public academic institution located in Silver City, New Mexico. Founded in 1893, the university is now a member of the American Association of University Women, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and the American Library Association.

Overview of Western New Mexico University (WNMU)

The institution combines a foundation of liberal arts education with quality professional programs and career and technical preparation in a diverse, inclusive, creative, and caring community of learners. Students are empowered with essential skills and knowledge for lifelong success in both work and life. Core values include innovation, integrity, intellectual curiosity, personal responsibility, service to the university and computer, and student success.

The total student population is 3,000+, with around 2,000 enrolled in undergraduate programs. Western New Mexico University employs approximately 96 full-time and 128 part-time faculty members, all of whom focus exclusively on instruction. Overall, the school’s student-to-faculty ratio is 12:1, which is better than the national average. The resulting average class size at the institution is 18.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting Town: Remote
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 12:1
Graduation Rate 29%
Year Founded 1893

Student Enrollment

Total Students3,013


Undergraduate Student

Male 733
Female 1,249

Graduate Student

Male 381
Female 650

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WNMU Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male NA
Female NA


Male NA
Female NA

Acceptance RateNA

Male NA
Female NA

Enrollment NA

Male NA
Female NA
Application Fee $30
High School GPA NA
High School Rank NA
High School Transcripts NA
College Prep Courses NA
Recommendations NA
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) NA
Application Deadline NA
Common Application Accepted No

WNMU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Western New Mexico University strives to be about higher education, not higher costs. The total amount students will pay in tuition and fees will vary, however, based on residency, the type of degree sought, and the number of credit hours taken. As of spring 2023, in-state students enrolled in 15 undergraduate credit hours could expect to pay $4,785 per semester. Non-residents taking the same number of classes will pay more, with tuition and fees totaling approximately $8,929.

Graduate students pay slightly higher rates. New Mexico residents enrolled in the standard nine credit hours per semester will pay $3,004. These rates increase for non-residents. Those who are from out-of-state will pay $5,447 per semester when enrolled in nine credit hours of classes.

Notably, Western New Mexico University previously had a tuition guarantee program. This has been suspended, however, effective as of the summer of 2020. Any new or readmitted students will be charged at the current approved rates instead.

Prospective students must also anticipate paying for books, supplies, transportation, housing, and food. Western New Mexico University does offer room and board options, but rates are subject to change from one academic year to another in order to meet necessary operating costs. As of fall 2023, housing rates ranged from $2,418 to $3,505 per student per semester. There are also several meal plans to choose from, with options costing between $2,075 and $2,475 per semester. Meal plans are required for certain students residing on campus in specific halls.

Western New Mexico University offers many scholarships to new students that may help offset the cost of attending. Other scholarships are also available, with funding provided by the university’s foundation office and a state-funded tuition program. The institution also provides waivers for out-of-state students from Arizona, Colorado, and El Paso, Texas. Incoming students must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application each year to qualify for any scholarships provided by the institution and federal government. Grants, work-study, and loans may also be available.

During the 2020-2021 academic year, 96% of students entering postsecondary education for the first time at the university received some form of financial assistance. Of those, 96% were awarded grants and scholarships. Approximately 41% still required some amount of financial assistance from student loans, however.

Average net price 2020-2021
Net Price $13,483
Average Total Aid $8,213
Students Receiving Financial Aid 96%
Room & Board $10,590

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $6,558
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $13,541
  • Books and Supplies - $1,600
  • Room & Board - $10,590
  • Other - $4,288


Western New Mexico University is an applied liberal arts and sciences institution that offers a combination of recognized professional programs and career and technical preparation. It helps those enrolled achieve various career goals, become conscientious citizens, practice social and environmental responsibility, and impact their communities as independent thinkers. Students can choose from more than 70 fields of study at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Options are also available for those seeking associate degrees and professional certificates.

Some prominent majors include:

  • Early Childhood Care and Education
  • Forest and Wildlife
  • Zoology
  • Instructional Technical Design
  • Nursing
  • Sustainability Development

Notably, the university also offers fully online bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Western New Mexico University is convenient, affordable, and has a history of delivering quality distance education. It offers more than 200 online undergraduate and graduate classes each semester, as well as during the summer.

According to data provided by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the retention rate for first-time, undergraduate freshmen who began their studies at Western New Mexico University in 2021 was 71% for full-time students and 27% for part-time students. Notably, the national average is 68% and part-time rates are usually much lower. Overall, this indicates that most students enrolled at the university chose to return to further their educations.

The overall graduation rate is somewhat lower, however. Of the students who began their studies in fall 2015, 66% were able to complete requirements within 150% of normal time, which is six years. Most students strive to graduate within four years, but this was achievable by only 19% of those enrolled. Additionally, the school has a 26% transfer-out rate. This means that over half of students chose to transfer to another school for the rest of their education. It’s important to note when looking at these numbers that the average graduation rate for full-time learners in the US is only 68%, not much higher than this school’s rate, and many who transfer out go on to graduate from their new institution.

Western New Mexico University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the United States Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The university is also accredited by the New Mexico State Board of Education. Additionally, many of the institution’s programs are individually accredited. Examples include the Associate of Collegiate Business Schools and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Student Population Total

Student Population 3,013

Evening Classes : No
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors 39 Total Graduates / 17%
Business Administration and Management, General 12 Graduates
Business/Commerce, General 11 Graduates
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 8 Graduates
Accounting 8 Graduates
Health Professions and Related Programs 37 Total Graduates / 16%
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 21 Graduates
Rehabilitation Science 13 Graduates
Substance Abuse/Addiction Counseling 3 Graduates
Public Administration and Social Service Professions 29 Total Graduates / 13%
Social Work 29 Graduates
All Biological and Biomedical Sciences Majors 24 Total Graduates / 10%
Cell/Cellular and Molecular Biology 16 Graduates
Zoology/Animal Biology 5 Graduates
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 2 Graduates
Botany/Plant Biology 1 Graduates
All Education Majors 23 Total Graduates / 10%
Kindergarten/Preschool Education and Teaching 8 Graduates
Elementary Education and Teaching 6 Graduates
Secondary Education and Teaching 4 Graduates
Education, General 3 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 34%

Outcome & Salary

While Western New Mexico University does not have any graduate employment outcomes data posted, the institution does have a center for student success. This department provides many helpful resources including resume, cover letter, and post-interview thank you letter templates. Students can also submit resumes and cover letters for review in order to receive constructive feedback prior to applying for work. Another helpful tool is the StandOut video platform, which can help students practice for interviews for over 50 different roles in various industries.

According to Payscale, graduates from Western New Mexico University earn an average base salary of $62,000 per year.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $86,600
College Grads Average Salary $63,000
College Grads Mid Career Salary $89,100
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $630,000
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,521,000
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $53,932
10 Year Projected ROI $576,068
20 Year Projected ROI $1,467,068
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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